Posted: 26 September 2018
It’s a hectic week for Shauna Tohill and Collette Williams. Not only have they just reached 1 million plays on Spotify, but they have also just dropped their latest single ‘Can you feel it?’, and have kicked off their UK tour with Halestorm. We caught up with them both to get the latest before they hit the road.
How did you meet?
Collette: We always joke that we met on Tinder! It was actually through a seven degrees of separation thing, so a friend of a friend knew Shauna, and mentioned she was looking for musicians to work with.
Shauna: Yeah, specifically for female drummers as well.
Was the idea always for the band to be a two-piece?
S: We just wanted it to be a rock band. We got together two or three times and thought ‘D’ya know what? We don’t really need anybody else’
C: I’d just moved to London and we were mirroring each others moves. I was looking for people to work with and when we jammed we thought ‘this works, we’ve got everything covered here.’
You've said before that the name Rews was inspired by something you saw written on a toilet wall. What can you tell us about this?
S: Very true! We were in a club in London in the toilet, surrounded by ya know, all these amazing pieces of 'art', one of which was a syringe that had REUS written above it, and seeing the name I just kind of went 'oh, that works!'
Later on at home I googled it, and it's a Dutch surname that literally means giant people. We changed the U to a W to make it easier to find. You can look for a name for ages but if something clicks and feels natural then just go for it.
How did you feel when you found out when you were going to be supporting Halestorm?
C: (mimics mind being blown)
S: It was kind of the result of a new partnership with our label, because they also manage Halestorm and Shinedown, so I think that was their welcome gift to us!
C: It was incredible, it was instantaneous. It was like ‘if we do this deal, good things are coming your way’ cut to five minutes later and ‘by the way you’re supporting Halestorm’. We were so excited because it was the fruits of our labour starting to bloom, and we could visibly see the prospect of being able to reach new fans.
How are you feeling now the tour is underway?
C: It’s nerve-racking, just because of the scale of the shows. We are playing to up to 5000 people a night which is mind-boggling. I think the nervousness comes from the pure excitement of wanting to make it the best we can.
It’s a new concept for us, usually you are playing in front of people who already like you, so it’s a great way to recruit new fans.
S: That’s one of the most exciting factors actually - trying to win new fans over. We will need to put on our charm, impress them and then drop the mic!
Are there any creature comforts that have to come with you when you go on tour?
S: I think it’s important to bring stuff that gives you your peace of mind. I vary between reading a good book, or taking my trainers so I can go for a run and have some normality.
C: We’ve learnt to travel really minimally. We can pretty much get anywhere with just a backpack. When I was younger I used to chuck all my shoes in the back of the car, and now it’s just full of drum stuff and I don’t have that many shoes anymore! Your priorities change don’t they?
If we get any downtime we get the laptop out and watch some Handmaid's Tale. It normalises things a bit. It’s going to take us two years to get through the series though!
S: We’ve watched three episodes in the last four months, so it’s a slow process!
What was the process in creating ‘Can you feel it?’, the new single that came out on Friday?
S: Well it’s a song that came about during a hard time emotionally, so the song aims to put a positive spin on negative feelings that you have whenever you’re going through some kind of trauma. It’s trying to inspire people to let it out and not be afraid to talk about how you’re feeling.
Music in itself is a sort of therapy so I guess it’s just a process of writing and dealing with the emotion, and presenting something that other people can get some therapy out of too.
When you’re out on the road, what songs would feature on your guilty pleasure playlist?
S: I’m not sure if I want to share mine! It’s really bad but I love Busted!
C: I remember at Glastonbury last year after our performance we had to run to the tent and Shauna was saying ‘hurry up I need to see Matty!’
S: I was obsessed with Matty from Busted and remember having posters all over my walls. One of the reasons I became a musician was that whenever I saw him playing I thought if I become an amazing bass player and get famous maybe he’ll marry me!
C: Well my family always bust out the ABBA CD at Christmas and we have a little boogie to ABBA. I’m so excited to hear what they are going to come back with!
S: I was going to say more NSync and stuff like that.
C: I bloody love the backstreet boys and all that 90’s pop sort of stuff, we can make a playlist for you!